The plans, including the €750 billion Next Generation EU recovery funding, equivalent to about $905 billion, and the €1 trillion European Green Deal environmental program, leverage Europe’s bountiful flow of innovation, which Covid-19 has highlighted.
U.S. corporate giants from Alphabet Inc. to Qualcomm Inc. have worked extensively with European universities, established research centers across Europe and bought up European companies, boosting U.S. profits and U.S. share prices.
“Unless Europe sees the entirety of the innovation cycle, it risks becoming an incubator for the world,” said Ann Mettler, vice president for Europe at Breakthrough Energy, a company started by Bill Gates to foster clean technologies, and former director of the EU’s internal think tank.
In the venture capital world, European funds’ share of deals done in Europe fell to 62% last year from 72% in 2016, according to a report from Index Ventures, a fund operating in the U.S. and Europe.
The European Green Deal aims to promote EU green industries, an emerging field in which European companies are world leaders.
European companies were leading producers of cutting-edge solar panels and e-bikes more than a decade ago, until China ramped up production and slashed prices, prompting some European rivals to file dumping suits and driving many out of business.
Fledgling startups in Europe raised more seed-stage funding than did their counterparts in Asia or North America over the past two years, grabbing 38% of investments that were doled out in chunks of less than €4 million, according to Index Ventures’ report.